A million dollar incentive to stop at level crossings

Law firm says trucking companies run a financial risk by failing to stop at level crossings

November 19, 2009

Brisbanebased law firm Cooper Grace Ward has warned trucking companies and their drivers that failing to stop at level crossings could cost them up to $1 million.

Sighting a case from 2001 between truck company Martin and the State Rail Authority of NSW, the law firm says trucks are at fault for collisions in most cases which means transport companies end up paying damages.

"The train driver and motorist will each blame the other for failing to stop. This case is a good example of the conflicting versions which courts must routinely resolve in level crossing accidents," the law firm says.

"[In this case]The truck company was ordered to pay the State Rail Authority $949,974 for repairs to the train, $25,437 for the costs of bussing passengers, plus interest, plus no doubt considerable legal and expert witness costs.

"It provides a million dollar incentive for drivers to stop at level crossings."

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